The Austin Chronicle

Rick Perry Death Watch

By Jordan Smith, January 27, 2012, News

Today (Thursday, Jan. 26) Texas is slated to carry out its 478th execution since reinstatement of the death penalty. For Gov. Rick Perry, the scheduled execution of Rodrigo Hernandez this evening will mark a milestone: the 239th execution he's presided over, meaning Perry will have overseen half of all Texas executions, securing his spot as the killingest governor in the U.S. Hernandez was convicted and sentenced to death for the abduction, rape, and murder of 38-year-old Susan Verstegen, a Frito-Lay saleswoman who disappeared in February 1994 while working a late-night shift. Her body was later found stuffed into a 55-gallon trash can behind a San Antonio church. Her murder went unsolved for eight years until DNA found at the scene was matched to Hernandez, who reportedly supplied the DNA sample to jailers in Michigan, where he was incarcerated on an unrelated charge, as a condition of his release.

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